Camden Council has secured two banning orders against rogue property agents who were previously fined £70,000 for letting an unlicensed and unsafe home.
Simple Properties Management Ltd and the company’s director, Miguel Cabeo Cespedes, 50, of Windsor Ave SW19, were given banning orders last month which prohibit them from letting any housing and engaging in letting agency or property management work in England.
The company received a ban for five years and Cabeo Cespedes for three years. Cabeo Cespedes is also banned from being involved in any company that carries out letting or property management work for that period.
The banning orders will take effect in six months’ time and if breached, penalties can include imprisonment for up to 51 weeks or a court fine or both, or a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
The judgment follows a hearing in February 2020 which found Simple Properties Management and Cabeo Cespedes guilty of operating an unlicensed HMO and breaching safety regulations. The resulting penalties included a £40,000 fine for the business and a £30,000 fine for Cabeo Cespedes.
Camden Council has now secured three of four banning orders issued in London, including the capital’s first ever rogue landlord banning order.
This case was brought after council officers carried out several visits to a property in May 2019 and identified it as an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). It also had numerous safety issues, including inappropriate partitioning of rooms, overcrowding, dangerous electrical appliances and inadequate fire safety measures.
The council’s cabinet member for better homes, Councillor Meric Apak, said: “Around a third of Camden residents rent from private landlords and they deserve to live in properly regulated and safe homes. Most landlords are decent law-abiding people. However for too long a minority have been able to let housing that may be unfit for human habitation, is overcrowded and in which fire and general safety are both woefully disregarded.
“Our HMO licensing scheme continues to improve the standards in Camden’s private housing, empowering renters to take action and helping good landlords to run successful businesses.”
Camden has its own rogue landlord taskforce, which tackles the worst and most exploitative landlords in the borough and works closely with tenants to help them understand their rights. It is led by an EHP and you can read the EHN interview with the team here.